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Fear of Criminal Charges Can Prevent Sex Workers from Reporting CrimesThe sex worker industry is booming throughout the Bay Area, the same as it is in other places throughout the state and across the U.S. Unfortunately, the fact that prostitutes are engaged in illegal activities makes them a target for acts of violence. Perpetrators know that they will be reluctant to report violent incidents or issues concerning forced sex work and trafficking out of fear of facing criminal charges themselves. As experienced San Jose criminal defense attorneys, we represent sex workers in these types of cases. We provide the legal representation victims need, providing caring support and legal protection while bringing those responsible to justice.  

Crimes Against Sex Workers in San Jose

A string of violent rapes committed against prostitutes highlights the potential dangers sex workers face in our area and the reluctance they often feel in reporting crimes to local law enforcement. A 24-year-old Morgan Hill man was arrested and is accused of beating and raping numerous women over the course of the summer months.  

The suspect allegedly picked up the women in various locations throughout downtown San Jose. Once he got them into his vehicle, he would take them to remote locations where he would physically and sexually assault them. Three victims came forward after the attacks. In addition to physical descriptions of the suspect and his vehicle, rape kits administered link him to the assaults via DNA evidence. Unfortunately, local law enforcement officials claim that there may be numerous other sex workers who are victims out there, as the suspect appears to be a serial rapist. However, many of them may be reluctant to come forward for fear of facing criminal charges. 

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San Jose, CA hate crime defense attorney

In the Bay Area, harassing, intimidating, or acting in any type of threatening or aggressive behavior toward others based on certain characteristics could result in serious charges. Classified as hate crimes, these charges require an immediate and strong criminal defense. In San Jose, Calif., authorities are getting more aggressive in dealing with hate crimes. Through a new program called “Safe Place,” they are hoping partnerships with local merchants can help in identifying when these crimes occur and in apprehending offenders. 

San Jose Offers “Safe Place” for Victims of Discrimination 

San Jose police officials are making it easier for alleged victims of discrimination and hate crimes to report the incidents and the suspects involved. The SJPD is partnering with local merchants in launching the Safe Place program. Participants in the program place a rainbow-colored decal on the window or door of their business. This is meant to be a signal to victims of hate crimes, encouraging them to come forward while providing assurance of support and that the appropriate legal actions will be taken. Thus far, Starbucks stores in the area and over 25 Wells Fargo Bank branches have agreed to take part, as have many smaller, local businesses. 

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San Jose, CA criminal defense lawyer

Being stopped by police and accused of a crime or actually being arrested is a bad situation in which to find yourself. How you respond can have major ramifications as well. You do have the right to certain protections, and you will want to avoid revealing information that could be used against you. However, not complying with requests from an officer, attempting to evade law enforcement, or resisting arrest could leave you facing additional and even more serious criminal charges. A seasoned criminal defense attorney can explain your options for the best possible outcome. 

Passenger Killed After San Jose Man Refuses to Stop for Police 

Cases involving people who resist arrest or attempt to evade police officers are common, and they can end up affecting others aside from the offender. For example, in San Jose, a 54-year-old man is facing criminal charges of vehicular homicide after a crash that occurred during a police chase that killed a passenger in his vehicle. The man was headed south on Highway 87 around 2:00 a.m. when California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers noticed him weaving in and out of his lane. They attempted to stop the man on suspicion of DUI, but he led them on a high-speed chase instead. 

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San Jose criminal defense attorneyIn San Jose and throughout California, you can legally possess marijuana for both recreational and medicinal use. While there are restrictions on the amount that you can cultivate or have on you, you can travel freely with it along the West Coast. Unfortunately, this can lull both locals and visitors into a false sense of security. Marijuana and related products are still illegal under federal laws and many states still have tight regulations regarding its use. If you plan on traveling in the next few months or are leaving the Bay area to return to another state, you need to be aware of the laws that apply to avoid facing criminal drug possession charges.  

Marijuana Laws State By State

The Golden State legalized marijuana for medicinal use more than 20 years ago while recreational use just became legal in 2012. If you travel to other areas of the west coast, such as Oregon and Washington, you will find similar laws in place. However, once you head east, the situation changes. 

According to the latest state cannabis program maps from the National Council of State Legislators (NCSL), marijuana laws represent a patchwork in terms of varying policies. The varying classifications and the states in which they apply include: 

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San Jose criminal defense attorneyProstitution, soliciting a prostitute, and pandering or pimping out the sexual services of others are all serious crimes in San Jose. Depending on any prior offenses you have on your record, you could face heavy fines and a jail sentence if you are charged with these offenses. However, if these charges are related to human trafficking, the penalties vary depending on a person's role in the crime. In early June, a 14-year-old runaway made a phone call which brought down a trafficking ring that operated locally and in other areas throughout the state. Those running the ring will face numerous criminal charges, and the girls or women forced to prostitute themselves are considered victims of the crime. 

Trafficking Ring Busted in San Jose 

Local police are crediting a 14-year-old girl’s actions with helping to bust a human trafficking ring operating in the area. The girl originally ran away from her home in Flint, Michigan in September of 2018 and headed towards Chicago. Once there, she was kidnapped by three men and forced to perform sexual acts. She was eventually brought to California, where the men traveled with the girl and several other women up and down the state, forcing them to act as prostitutes. At their most recent stop in San Jose, the girl managed to get to a phone and dialed a nationwide crisis text line. 

Through the phone call, police were able to identify the group’s location and rushed to raid their rooms at the Motel 6 on Fontaine Road. They arrested three men ranging in age from 39 to 54, one of whom was from Sacramento. The men were booked into the Santa Clara County Jail and charged with a variety of offenses, which include kidnapping, pimping and pandering, and human trafficking. In addition to the young girl, two other women were rescued in the raid. None of them face criminal charges, and all are being provided services through local and national anti-human trafficking organizations. 

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